By ROSE VALENZUELA
The three most exciting weeks in NCAA sports are under way: March Madness.
The NCAA men’s basketball tournament, better known as March Madness, has been around for 75 years. The tournament is exciting for all who love college basketball and who are ready to see anything and everything that basketball has to offer.
The madness begins with 68 teams, then is whittled to the round of 32, the Sweet Sixteen, the Elite Eight, the Final Four and, finally, the championship game.
This tournament is always full of surprises. Colleges that people least expect to win – and perhaps have never even heard of – get the chance to prove what they can do.
College students cheer on their schools throughout these three weeks and join in the madness, whether from their campuses or in person at the tournament venues.
With the University of Arizona being part of the Sweet Sixteen this year, people in Tucson, and especially UA students, were excited to continue watching the tournament.
Sadly, the Wildcats were eliminated before they could move on to the Elite Eight, suffering a heartbreaking 73-70 loss to Ohio State.
I doubt Buckeye forward LaQuinton Ross, who won the game on a 3-pointer with 2 seconds left, will want to look for a job in Tucson after he graduates from OSU.
Just like a lot of other Arizona fans, I was heartbroken after witnessing the Cats
lose the way they did. They fought until the final buzzer, but Ohio State had luck on its side.
People take these weeks to make bets, call upsets and show their basketball knowledge.
Even President Obama predicted an upset in the first tournament game the UA played, against Belmont University (Tenn.). Like plenty of other people, he messed up on that one.
For some PCC students, the tourney is a sort of relaxing annual ritual.
“I’ve been a basketball fan my whole life, and I’ve been watching March Madness ever since I can remember,” PCC student and basketball player Joseph Monreal said. “March Madness to me can be kind of like a holiday.
“Week to week, it gets more intense as the teams battle each other out one by one, leaving the best teams in the end to go at it.”
Just like Monreal – and me, coincidentally – there are many students who obsess over the tourney like nothing else.
“I don’t even concentrate at work because I’m too busy checking my ESPN app,” Pima student Karyme Valencia said.
The tournament is now down to the Final Four, with Wichita State, Louisville, Michigan and Syracuse still standing. Only one will earn the right to be called “champion.”